abp: johnny

Here’s the Spotify link to the playlist. You’re welcome to recreate it on any platform you choose. Just press play and read along, acting like the voice in your head is the DJ. The times listed are that of the song playing, not the full episode length. I play this with a 5-second cross-fade enabled. Have fun!

Intro

FMF#TitleArtistAlbumYear
1“Johnny One Note”Ted Heath And His MusicBig Band Percussion1961

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Hello and welcome to abp’s Johnny episode!  Today we are going to dive into the phenomenon that surrounds an ideal of a man named “Johnny”. Now, I bet you could name at least a handful of songs that mention Johnny. I bet you could also name a bunch of songs sang by a Johnny (Rotten, Cash, Nash, Karate). Johnny is forever and Johnny is never.

00:40 Johnny seems to be the go-to character for rock songs.  It seems like everyone and their mother Mary has written about a Johnny, or vicariously lived through Johnny in the music.  John has been in the top 20 most popular baby names of the U.S. since the census began.  It was the most popular name for males until 1924 but still remains in the top 20 to this day. Other forms of John include Jon, Jonathan, Jack or Jackie.  We’re gonna stick to just Johnny today.

01:10 A bit later in the episode, we’ll be treated to a meta Johnny couple of sets. NOFX’s “Jaw, Knee, Music” quotes lyrics from a grip of punk songs about our titular subject matter. I’m gonna play at least 10 of those references. More might be scattered throughout the show.

01:40 Kicking off today’s episode is the song that started it all. Well, it wasn’t the first “Johnny” song by any means, but this song started the mythos of Johnny in rock and roll music. Not only did Chuck Berry launch an entire new genre with his new rhythm and blues sound, “rock and roll”, but he also started the legend of Johnny. And for those of you (like myself) who weren’t around when this song hit the airwaves, maybe this channels something in you to time travel…

02:10 Berry propped up Johnny as a rock star. A guitar god from the backwoods of Louisiana. That may sound a bit autobiographical for Chuck and that’s because it partially was. Chuck took parts from Bob Wills’ “Ida May” and gave it a new sound to create his first single “Maybellene”. For “Johnny” he lifted the guitar intro from Louis Jordan’s “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman“. Alright fellas, well “here’s a blues riff in B, watch me for the changes and..try to keep up.” Here is “Johnny B. Goode”.

Set 1: Jonathan, Be Well

2“Johnny B. Goode”Chuck BerryJohnny B. Goode / Around & Around1957
3“Bye Bye Johnny”The Rolling StonesThe Rolling Stones EP1964
4“Look Out Johnny”ProtexStrange Obsessions2010
5“Johnny Better Get”Zero BoysHistory Of…1984
6“Johnny”Ty SegallLemons2009

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Whew!  That was garage rock lo-fi staple, Ty Segall.  Ty is by far one of the most productive musicians in garage rock.  After releasing his debut album in 2008, Ty put out over fifteen albums with various bands in the span of a decade.  He released three albums in 2012 alone.  This dude doesn’t stop! From early on in his career, that was “Johnny” from Lemons.   

00:40 Before Ty, we were treated with some Zero Boys. The Indiana punks put out one EP, Living In The 80s, and one LP, Vicious Circle before splitting up in 1983. They recorded songs for a second album but split before finishing it. One of those recordings was “Johnny Better Get”, and was included on the compilation album that featured those lost songs; History Of…

01:10 With our first taste of Northern Ireland punk rock today, that was Protex. The Clash are allegedly the origination of punk rock in Belfast. They were scheduled to play there in 1977 but the show was cancelled by the insurance company supporting the band. They were scared. The band still made a profound impact and launched a scene that would generate bands like Stiff Little Fingers, Rudi, Protex, and many more. Protex even took their band name from a Clash song; “Protex Blue”. They played “Look Out Johnny” after the Stones.

01:40 Chuck Berry actually wrote five songs in total about his famed Johnny. After the success of “Johnny B. Goode”, Chuck would go on to write “Johnny B. Blues”, “Go Go Go”, “Lady B. Goode”, and “Bye Bye Johnny”; the latter of which was covered by The Rolling Stones. The Stones released their eponymous debut EP in January of 1964. “Bye Bye Johnny” was the lead track on the album, leaving the absolute possibility that this track was the first Stones song some people heard.  

02:10 Chuck once said he hopes Bob Dylan lives ’til 100 and that he (Chuck) lives forever. The two formed a bond later in life that lasted until Chuck’s death in 2017. Chuck didn’t live forever, but his music will and he can keep us forever young. Some say Dylan helped create rap music with this next song. I’m not so sure about that, but he sure does quite the poetry slam. Here’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” from Bobby D.

Intermission

7“Johnny Fool”Frankie & The Pool BoysFrankie & The Pool Boys2008

Set 2: Ride, Johnny, Ride

8“Subterranean Homesick Blues”Bob DylanBringing It All Back Home1965
9“Johnny Was A Good Boy”Mystery TrendJohnny Was A Good Boy / A House On The Hill1967
10“Bullet”The MisfitsBullet1978
11“No Colt, No Johnny”Death LensDeathFrights2014
12“Jaw Knee Music”NOFXRock Against Bush Vol. 12004

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Fat Mike is such a punny guy. “Jaw Knee Music” caps off the set but will remain in our hearts and minds for the next half hour or so. When Mike started punkvoter.com to oust Bush Jr. from the White House in 2004, he was forced to forgo some of those punk rock hassles of selling out and mainstream media coverage. He appeared on Dennis Miller, the band played on Conan O’Brien, and they would register voters at Warped Tour. Too bad it was all for not. During that time, Fat Wreck Chords put out the Rock Against Bush compilations, which would feature unreleased cuts from some pretty big names; including an exclusive from Green Day. NOFX contributed “Jaw Knee Music” to the first comp, a song comprised of punk rock references all in the name of Johnny.

00:40 Like NOFX, Death Lens started out in Los Angeles. Also like NOFX, they’ve released a few split albums with some other stellar bands. Their first split with The Frights was titled DeathFrights and came out in 2014. It featured two originals from each band, one cover of the other band’s tune, and one collaboration song. The original version of “No Colt, No Johnny” is on this EP.

01:10 “Ride, Johnny, Ride!” The Misfits’ debut single Cough/Cool may have been recorded without a guitar, but possessed all of the demonic attitude for a Misfits record. The single, released by Glenn Danzig’s Blank Records, would stand out only to get Mercury Records to donate 30 hours of studio time to the band in exchange for the rights to Blank Records trademark. The Misfits used that to record 13 songs, none of which anyone wanted to release. So in true punk DIY fashion, they released it themselves EP by EP, starting with their 2nd EP Bullet.

01:40 On Dylan’s shotgun blast song, “Like A Rolling Stone”, he croons “You say you never compromise/with the mystery tramp/but now you realize”. The Mystery Trend misheard that lyric, although Mystery Trend is a great band name. They couldn’t get their career to take off along with all of the other San Francisco Sound psychedelic acts of that era, perhaps due to band member cycling or to the lack of promotion from Verve Records. They did release one single in 1967, though, “Johnny Was A Good Boy”.

02:10 Starting into our Jaw Knee Music sets now, here’s So-Cal band D.I. The lyrics to this song also start off “Jaw Knee Music” and feature our beloved Johnny having a problem and being out of control. Quite the change from that Southern backwoods Louisiana boy who could play a guitar like ringing a bell. Here’s “Johnny’s Got A Problem”.

Intermission

13“Stay Away From My Johnny (Instrumental)”Freda Gray & The RocketeersStay Away From My Johnny1966

Set 3: Jaw, Knee, Rum, Own

14“Johnny’s Got A Problem”D.I.Horse Bites Dog Cries1985
15“Johnny Hit And Run Paulene”XLos Angeles1980
16“Johnny, Are You Queer?”Josie CottonConvertible Music1982
17“Johnny Twobags”The VandalsLive Fast Diarrhea1995
18“Johnny’s Gonna Die”The ReplacementsSorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash1981

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Wrapping up the first Jaw Knee Music set of the day, that was The Replacements’ “Johnny’s Gonna Die” from their 1981 debut LP Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash.  Fat Mike quoted the song verbatim with the line “Johnny always needs more than he takes/Forgets a couple chords/Forgets a couple breaks”.  The track would turn out to be the slowest and longest on an 18 track-36 minute ear blast of an album.  

00:40 The Vandals took issue with what they saw as hypocrisy when someone who had it pretty good decided to sing the blues. The blues are for when you don’t have it pretty good, right? “Johnny Twobags” is the story of a guy who thinks he has it rough, but when put into perspective, he’s just having a bad day. From the 1995 punsationally-named LP Live Fast Diarrhea, that was “Johnny Twobags”.

01:10 In verse three of “Jaw Knee”, Mike asks “Johnny, is he queer?”.  In the late 70’s, Josie Cotton moved to Los Angeles from Texas and found herself in the blooming punk scene.  After hooking up with Larson and Bobby Paine, Josie was offered the track and included it on her 1982 album Convertible Music.  She would also appear in Valley Girl, but after a second musical effort in 1984 would she would ultimately fade out of the scene.

01:40 X stopped by with “Johnny Hit And Run Paulene” from their debut album Los Angeles. Although they fit in perfectly well with their drugged-out scene cohorts, X’s angle was purposefully void. No band name (X), no bass player (John Doe). X crossed rhythm & blues guitar styles with punk rock fervor, resulting in a kind of 50s greaser meets 80s speed freak vibe.

02:10 Fat Mike also sang the line “Johnny says he’s bound by only six strings to this world”; a direct lyric lift from the Bouncing Souls song “The Ballad Of Johnny X”.  Originally recorded for the Punk Sucks compilation, the track would be re-recorded for their sophomore album Maniacal Laughter later that year and both tracks feature the actual Johnny X on them. Johnny X is Mike Cavallaro, a comic book writer and artist that went to the same high school as the Souls. Once again, Johnny is someone’s alter ego. Here’s “The Ballad of Johnny X”.

Intermission

19“Johnny October”The ChallengersGo Sidewalk Surfing!1964

Set 4: Here’s Johnny!

20“The Ballad Of Johnny X”Bouncing SoulsJohnny X1995
21“Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts”Less Than JakeLosing Streak1996
22“The Ballad Of Jimmy & Johnny”RancidLet’s Go1994
23“Degenerated”Reagan YouthYouth Anthems For The New Order1984
24“Johnny Was”Stiff Little FingersInflammable Material1979

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Stiff Little Fingers’ version of “Johnny Was” doubles the track time of the original. The original cut, done by Bob Marley on Rastaman Vibration, was credited to his wife Rita upon release. Bob was in contractual standoffs with Cayman music and rather than battle them in court, he gave all credits to his friends and family with hopes to provide for them using future earnings from the music. Mike sings “Johnny was a good man” in reference to this song.

00:40 According to Reagan Youth, if you rang a bell, Johnny would start to drool. Also, Johnny “wastes his days eating ‘ludes”, was “a teenage vegetable”, and was “a mindless brainwashed pig”. All of those descriptors are from Reagan Youth’s “Degenerated”, fully repurposed by NOFX for the theme. Remember when this song was covered in that Airheads movie?

01:10 Fat Mike soap-boxed fellow Bay Area punkers Rancid by placing some of their Johnny lyrics in his composition. Rancid released Let’s Go in 1994 and rode the mid-90s punk/alternative wave until going full reggae-rock band by 1998. Let’s Go introduced us to Lars Frederiksen, their 2nd guitarist, and also included the song “The Ballad Of Jimmy And Johnny”. The band would return to their punk roots on their 2000 self titled release.

01:40 Towards the end of “Jaw Knee Music”, Fat Mike can be heard singing “Johnny questions sellout bands”. Before Rancid, Less Than Jake played us “Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts” from their 1996 album Losing Streak. LTJ was one of the more underground ska bands that emerged in that late 90s weird ska punk phase, leaving the fame to the Bosstones or Reel Big Fish.

02:10 Alright, well that’s done. That was fun! Coming up next is a continuation of what Johnny was. According to The Adicts, “Johnny Was A Soldier”. Furthermore, Johnny was an amputee; possibly an angry amputee? Is this what Fat Mike is referencing? The Adicts are droogs incarnate, the gang members from Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange. From their sophomore album, Sound Of Music, here’s “Johnny Was A Soldier”.

Intermission

25“Johnny Guitar”La Playa SextetJohnny Guitar1954

Set 5: Thee Johnnies

26“Johnny Was A Soldier”The AdictsSound Of Music1982
27“I Love Johnny Bravo”The DiaboliksThree Fur Burgers…And A Hot Chilli Dog To Go!2000
28“Johnny And I”Thee AttacksStrikes Back2016
29“Johnny Come Lately”The WogglesRagged But Right2003
30“Johnny 99”The Loved OnesDistractions2009

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Bruce Springsteen wrote “Johnny 99” during his recording sessions for Nebraska after reading Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.  The entire album is bleak and quiet, with topics limited to murder, despair, and longing; its amazing.  Philadelphia, PA punk band The Loved Ones covered Bruce’s “Johnny 99” on their Distractions EP and brought the song into a whole new light.

00:40 The Woggles are led by the Professor Mighty Manfred Jones. He hosts a radio show on Little Steven’s Underground Garage chock full of music that would fit in perfectly well with abp’s episodes. Little Steven signed The Woggles to his Wicked Cool record label right after the release of their 2003 LP Ragged But Right. From that LP, that was “Johnny Come Lately”.

01:10 The Attacks are a Danish garage rock revival band that broke up a year before releasing their reunion LP Strikes Back. Then they broke up again. That album included a cool cover of a techno song from another Danish group Superheroes that originally appeared on their label’s 15 year anniversary compilation Saluting The Crunchy Frog in 2009. That was “Johnny And I”.

01:40 The Diaboliks were a little-known garage rock band from the 90’s. Featuring a mostly female lineup, the band would put out a mixtape of an LP as a debut, a few EPs, and one full-length LP in 2000.  Lineup changes and band tension led them to split after the release of their full-length Three Fur Burgers…And A Hot Chilli Dog To Go!;  where we lifted “I Love Johnny Bravo” from.

02:10 Dead Moon was comprised of Portland legends Fred and Toody Cole along with Andrew Loomis. Fred engineered most of the band’s recordings using the mono lathe that the Kingsmen, another Portland group, used for “Louie Louie”. Dead Moon carried the torch for garage rock revival in the 80s, keeping their sound limited to the capabilities of a few instruments and analog tape. One of their more influential and well-known songs is up now. Here’s “Johnny’s Got A Gun” from their 1990 LP Defiance.

Intermission

31“Pipeline”Johnny ThundersSo Alone1978

Set 6: Joanie And Johnny

32“Johnny’s Got A Gun”Dead MoonDefiance1990
33“Johnny Got A Gun”The GizmosRock & Roll Don’t Come From New York2004
34“Joanie Loves Johnny”Screeching WeaselWiggle1993
35“Johnny Get Angry”Joanie SommersJohnny Get Angry1962
36“Little Johnny Jewel”TelevisionLittle Johnny Jewel1975

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Television’s debut single “Little Johnny Jewel” was released on Ork Records (the same label that originally agreed to put out Misfits’ Bullet EP but the deal fell through). Richard Hell formed the group with Tom Verlaine but after a falling out left and started his own band, The Voivoids. After his departure, Richard Lloyd joined and they recorded the 7-minute epic debut. They must have enjoyed the jam session, because on their debut album Marquee Moon, they included the 10-minute epic title track to round out Side A.

00:40 After a minor charting hit in 1960 with “One Boy”, Joanie Sommers landed a #7 hit single with 1962’s “Johnny Get Angry”.  Once called “The Voice Of The Sixties”, Joanie wouldn’t repeat the success she found with “Johnny Get Angry”.  Now with clear hindsight, we can say Joanie was most likely not the voice of the sixties. Who do you think was?

01:10 Screeching Weasel play into the leather jacket Fonzie aesthetic that makes many a punk rock song fun. Keeping with that Happy Days vibe, Ben Weasel sings about the dreamed-up love affair between Joanie Cunningham and someone named Johnny. Perhaps its Johnny Suede? Or maybe this is a fantasy. I mean, the song does mention Fonzie getting fucked up on ‘ludes and Joanie and Johnny doing heroin. Screeching Weasel also covered “Johnny, Are You Queer?” on their 1994 album How To Make Enemies And Irritate People.

01:40 After Dead Moon was an old punk jam from The Gizmos, a band out of Bloomington, Indiana that’s had more lineup changes than records released.  While they never released an official full album, the band put out four EPs and split record before calling it quits.  We played “Johnny Got A Gun” from the compilation Rock & Roll Don’t Come From New York.

02:00 Alright Johnnies, that about does it for today. May the legend of Johnny live on forever in our collective imaginations. Now…what women’s name would be a good companion episode to this one….?

02:15 (music plays and fades out)

Outro

37“Death Of Johnny Riviera”Ray Daytona And GoogoobombosSpace Patrol In Mission!2002

Check out ourList for all of the releases featured!

Heard To Find: The Dynettes – “Witness To A Heartbreak”

Artist: The Dynettes
Track: “Witness To A Heartbreak”
Release: New Guy / Witness To A Heartbreak (7″)
Year: 1965
Duration: 2:30

Maurice Williams scored a huge hit in 1960 when he and The Zodiacs put out the single “Stay”. At just 1:36 in length, the single would become the shortest song to ever reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the United States. After groups like The Hollies and The Four Seasons laid down their own versions of the song and pushed it into an international audience, Maurice & The Zodiacs would reap the benefits. Jackson Browne interpolated it into the finale of his 1978 masterpiece album Running On Empty as “The Load Out / Stay” which again brought the song to new audiences. It wasn’t until the song’s inclusion on the 1987 soundtrack to the film Dirty Dancing, though, that it would sell it’s highest amount of copies.

In 1965, Maurice wrote and arranged a pair of tracks for the girl group The Dynettes to record. I can’t seem to find much on The Dynettes individually, but as the record suggests the song was recorded in Chicago, Illinois around 1964 under the production of Bill “Bunky” Sheppard. According to the comments section of this Nerdtorious.com post, the lead singer’s name was Idella and she was last known to reside in Charlotte, North Carolina. That’s it. That’s all I can find, and that’s assuming the comment is legit.

As for the song itself, it bounces along like a lollipoppy, mid-60s soul jam with a nice, clean guitar chasing the messy drumbeat backed up by an organ and a call and response type vocal setting. It’s a shame this one didn’t make it further up the charts.

I’m sure the saturation of sixties girl groups made for a challenge for anyone to break through to fame, especially with the absolute domination from Phil Spector and his Wall of Sound groups.

The A-side, “New Guy” is another gem, this time with a more up-tempo approach. I love how the deep horns back up the girls’ vocals in start contrast. This song could easily be found on a movie montage or soundtrack. Something Summer-y.

The Constellation Records catalog has all kinds of hidden soul gems from 1964-65 and you can currently find the Constellation of Rhythm & Blues compilation on streaming services. Give it a dig sometime, these songs are the epitome of “lost treasures”. Instead of posting links to just the Dynettes’ music, here’s the full compilation.

abp: coffee

Here’s the Spotify link to the playlist. You’re welcome to recreate it on any platform you choose. Just press play and read along, acting like the voice in your head is the DJ. The times listed are that of the song playing, not the full episode length. I play this with a 5-second cross-fade enabled. Have fun!

Intro

FMF#TrackArtistAlbumYear
1“Coffee In The Pot”SupergrassRoad To Rouen2005

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Hello and welcome to abp’s coffee episode! Today we honor one of the most famous and well-known drinks of the world; coffee! Java, espresso, cappuccino, Americano, cold-press, nitro-infused, etc.; the list of styles of the usually-served hot drink may be too long for the show. Are you a zombie before you get your morning brew? Does the caffeine addiction afflict you too? I hope you’ve had your dose of daily drip because we’re about to turn up the speed.

01:10 Historical accounts of humans consuming coffee for its energizing effects date back to at least the 15th century. East Central Africans first used the beans in the modern sense of roasting and brewing. Not much ahs changed since then in the form of preparation, though certain regions do things a little differently.

01:40 National Coffee Day is celebrated on September 29th each year in the United States. The day gives millions of people an excuse to celebrate their morning caffeine addiction by justifying it as a necessary step to our days. Yes, I am also one of those coffee heads. I’ll throw all the excuses at you that you’ve already heard; kids, job, stress, sleep, blah blah.

02:10 Have you ever drank too much coffee? I can definitely say that I have. That sick feeling, nauseous like you ate something terrible, all the while you’re blood seems to be at 1000 degrees and heart is pumping like it’s running a marathon. Suck. The Promdates, out of Norway, know all about that overdose, too. The lyrics to the next track describe that moment you realize you’ve gone too far. From their 2016 split with the Meeps, here’s Norway’s best coffee-guzzling punk band with “Coffee OD”.

Set 1: Coughy

2“Coffee OD”The PromdatesThe Punk Rock Rumble – Split EP2016
3“Coffee With You”CarbonaBack To Basics1999
4“Cappuccino”Lunatics On PogosticksSleeping Till The Weekend EP2014
5“Too Much Coffee”SWMRSBerkeley’s On Fire2019
6“409 In Your Coffeemaker”Green DaySlappy EP1990

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Sweet Children doesn’t really sound like a band that tours filling stadiums, does it? Or maybe it does, what the hell do I know? That’s what Green Day was originally called before moving to the more ambiguously colorful descriptor. Billie Joe Armstrong has been a vocal critic of the name, though, in 2001 stating it was the worst band name in the world. From early in their career on the Slappy EP, that was Green Day with “409 In Your Coffeemaker”.

00:40 A generation later, we move from Billie to Joey. Billie Joe’s son Joey Armstrong plays drums for Berkley band SWMRS. The band took influence from Green Day and others’ pop punk sound and mixed it with the EDM-tinged sounds of the 2010s. That was “Too Much Coffee” from Berkley’s On Fire.

01:10 From the West Coast, to the Gold Coast. Kinda. Lunatics On Pogosticks hail from Melbourne and channel all the right elements of garage rock. Slightly lo-fi sound, energy, simplicity, fun lyrics, they’re doing it right. The final track to their excellent 2014 EP Sleeping Till The Weekend, “Cappuccino” sits in the middle of the set.

01:40 Remaining in the Southern hemisphere, we heard Carbona from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The band takes their name from the Ramones song “Carbona Not Glue”, a track removed from their 1977 LP Leave Home because the company who made the stain remover Carbona didn’t want to be associated with, well, glue-sniffing. “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” might have fed them that worry. Carbona, the band, sand “Coffee With You” from their sophomore LP Back To Basics.

02:10 Up next, The Smugglers ask the age old question – “Coffee, Tea, Or Me?”. The Vancouver, British Columbia band kept garage rock alive and well in the 90s and into the 2000s before calling it quits. Their 2000 LP Rosie was released through the legendary Berkley, California punk label Lookout! Records, the same label that released Green Day’s early works. Here’s The Smugglers with “Coffee, Tea, Or Me?”

Intermission

7“Coffee Stained Shirt”Voodoo CourtThe Party’s Over2002

Set 2: Javabilly

8“Coffee, Tea, Or Me?”The SmugglersRosie2000
9“One More Cup Of Coffee”The White StripesThe White Stripes1999
10“Cup Of Coffee”The NovocainesRagdoll EP2009
11“One Cup Of Coffee And A Cigarette”Glen GlennLaurie Ann / One Cup Of Coffee And A Cigarette – 7″ Single1958
12“Coffee Break”The Rock N’ RollersRock ‘N Roll Time EP1958

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 That song seems to have a very familiar…sound to it. Very Bill Haley-ish. Perhaps that’s because the Rock ‘N’ Rollers are a studio-exec crafted band created solely for the purpose of selling records in line with a fad. If that really is the case, is “The Rock ‘N” Rollers” really the most creative name they could find? Apt, I suppose. Still. The EP Rock ‘N’ Roll Time, directed by Ken Jones, is five basic as hell rock and roll songs, and I love it. That was “Coffee Break” from said EP.

00:40  Glen Glenn was a rhythm and blues rock and roller from the 50s that did everything he could to mimic the swinging pelvis seen on TV. That is, until he got drafted. Glen recorded a few songs in 1958 and they’d actually get pressed to wax, but only days after his music hit the public he was drafted to the war and his career was over. Slightly. He would re-emerge in the 80s and record collectors began hunting for those early singles. His best known song, “One Cup Of Coffee And A Cigarette” graced our ears just now.

01:10 When Jay Watson left The Novocaines to play drums for Tame Impala, the band thought it was over. However, they reformed and put out a solid EP in 2009 titled Ragdoll. The lead single “Cup Of Coffee” starts off paying homage to Dylan with the line “One more cup of coffee before I go”.

01:40 The White Stripes covered at least three songs on their debut LP, including the Bob Dylan Desire-era ballad. The others being old blues songs from Son House and Robert Johnson and a rendition of the traditional folk song “St. James Infirmary Blues”; a track which Dylan also covered. “One More Cup Of Coffee” followed the Smugglers.

02:10 Coming up next is a trip down percolator lane. A trip that starts out light and poppy and climaxes with some real heavy psychedelic stuff; as most trips go. Starting things off is a cut from the debut record of Montreal, Quebec group Rock ‘N’ Roll Television. Here comes a bright, up-tempo discharge of television jonesing from the band titled “Coffee At Least”.

Intermission

13“Java”Al HirtHoney In The Horn1963

Set 3: In The Mud

14“Coffee At Least”Rock ‘N’ Roll TelevisionRock ‘N’ Roll Television2008
15“Coffee Monkey”The Bottle RocketsLeftovers1998
16”Coffee With My Friends”Candy HeartsAll The Ways You Let Me Down2014
17”Coffee Cup”The WildflowerA Pot Of Flowers – Compilation1967
18“Coffee”Psychedelic Porn CrumpetsHigh Visceral, Pt. 22017

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Alright, pull your head out of the clouds now. We’re back on Earth. That sure was fun though. Another amazing Aussie group contributed to the set with Psychedelic Porn Crumpets doing “Coffee”. The song comes from the part two of their High Visceral releases. I wonder what Billie Joe Armstrong thinks of this band name?

00:40  The Wildflower, from A Pot Of Flowers, smoothed things out a bit after the Candy Hearts treat. Almost like a sip of warm coffee after a snowy breath. The Wildflower never released a proper album of their own, though they did compile all of their tracks for a release in 2008. The few songs they contributed to this comp, though, fit right in with the titular nature of the album and the whole San Fran peace-love-dope thing. We heard “Coffee Cup”.

01:10 As stated earlier, Candy Hearts represent their band name well in this set, bringing a light, poppy rock sound to what can usually be an intense set of songs around here. The New Jersey band put out two albums before reforming and renaming themselves Best Ex and going full-on pop. That was “Coffee With My Friends” from the group’s final album All The Ways You Let Me Down.

01:40 St. Louis, Missouri band The Bottle Rockets could easily be lumped into the 90s alt-country craze that took place, led by groups like Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, and the rest of the similar acts. But these guys seem to be a bit more raw, grittier, maybe even cowpunk-esque? From the Leftovers album, a literal collection of randos, that was “Coffee Monkey”.

02:10 Sometimes coffee is instant, sometimes coffee is black. Sometimes we just need to get back on the punkwagon. Up next is the seminal song from hardcore-turned-sludgepunk act Black Flag. After guitarist Greg Ginn took up a more heavy cannabis habit, things slowed down and Black Sabbath was channeled. The result spawned even more new groups looking to mimic this weird new slowed down punk thing. Here’s Black Flag doing “Black Coffee”.

Intermission

19”Black Coffee”Oscar PetersonIn A Romantic Mood1956

Set 4: On Legal Speed, The American Way

20”Black Coffee”Black FlagSlip It In1984
21“Black Coffee Blues”The Ringo JetsThe Ringo Jets2013
22”Coffee Mug”DescendentsEverything Sucks1996
23”Mr. Coffee”LagwagonDuh1992
24”Instant Coffee”BugsGrowing Up2020

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 What’s worse, instant coffee or bugs in your coffee? Bugs, obviously, you coffee snob. These Bugs, though, won’t bother you. Unless you really hate pop punk or Australian people. Brisbane group Bugs channel the late 90s/early 2000s pop punk sound while adding in new elements and lyrical relevance to the new world we live in. Of course, there are plenty of love songs though. That was “Instant Coffee” from Growing Up.

00:40 The artwork for today’s episode quotes Lagwagon’s “Mr. Coffee” from their 1992 debut Duh. Before they thought up such an eloquent band name, they were called Section VIII. Their demo tape made it to Fat Mike of NOFX/Fat Wreck Chords, who then decided to record them. A name change was in order, though. Singing “on legal speed, the American way”, that was Joey Cape and Lagwagon.

01:10 It was brief, but we got a hit of the most well known caffeine addict in the punk rock kingdom. That would be Milo Aukerman, singer of the Descendents. With many of his lyrics pointing toward his caffeine addiction and away from drugs or alcohol, Milo has championed the java jingle since the early days of the group in 1980. We heard “Coffee Mug” from 1994’s Everything Sucks.

01:40 Its not often we get Turkish rock and roll around here, so when we do I want to celebrate it. The Ringo Jets are one of the few, well-known garage rock groups in Turkey and dig up blues vibes along with their loud-fast energy. They covered Slim Harpo on their debut album, which closed out with “Black Coffee Blues”.

02:10 Londoners Margot are up next with a standalone single from 2018. “Coffee Stained Scars” was released before their debut EP Margotzeko and has yet to be placed on a physical medium. Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t play it. Here’s Margot sharing their love for BLTs.

Intermission

25”Instant Coffee”The JokersManha De Carnaval / Instant Coffee – 7″ Single1965

Set 5: Java Knife Party

26”Coffee Stained Scars”MargotCoffee Stained Scars – Single2018
27“Jave Jive”The PlattersJava Jive / Row The Boat Ashore – 7″ Single1964
28”Sugar In My Coffee”Deuces WildJohnny Rider1992
29”Knife In The Coffee”Car Seat HeadrestNervous Young Man2013
30”Coffee Girl”Skunk MonkeyEgo Deaf2020

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Straight outta College Station, Texas and released on Valentine’s Day 2020, that was Skunk Monkey doing “Coffee Girl”. The band’s sophomore release Ego Deaf was led by the single “Cherry Girl” and includes a second coffee song – “Americano”. I liked this one more, though.

00:40 Will Toledo formed Car Seat Headrest as a solo project and released 12, yes 12 albums on Bandcamp before signing to Matador Records. This guy works. The final self-released album Nervous Young Man includes the finale “Knife In The Coffee”, a garage rock epic; how rare!

01:10 The 80s brought a resurgence of rockabilly thanks to the Stray Cats. Deuces Wild were fellow Brits in hope of achieving slicked back stardom. They released two LPs and one EP between 1989 and 1991 before dissolving. From the 2nd LP, Johnny Rider, we heard “Sugar In My Coffee”.

01:40 I couldn’t really find a punk cover of “Java Jive”, but it is absolutely necessary in a coffee show. Bob Dylan plays the original version from the Ink Spots on his coffee episode of Theme Time Radio Hour, but if I’m gonna do a punk and garage rock show about coffee I have to keep the tempo up! The Platters did a groovy version of the song in the mid 50s and included it on their Encore Of Golden Hits, perhaps being the most up-tempo version of a slow song about coffee.

02:10 Things get real weird with the next track. Its new wave-y, its punk-y, it sure is lyrically…interesting. With an ode to one of the best sensations that can come along with drinking hot liquid, dunking, we’ve got The Deep Freeze Mice. From their 1981 debut LP Teenage Head In My Refrigerator, this is “I Like Digestive Biscuits In My Coffee”. For those non-Europeans like myself, the name doesn’t necessarily imply the reaction when it comes to these cookies. Oh, and there’s a long intro so just stay tuned…

Intermission

31”Coffee & Smoke”KazamCoffee & Smoke2018

Set 6: Cream Or Sugar…Or Biscuit?

32”I Like Digestive Biscuits In My Coffee”The Deep Freeze MiceTeenage Head In My Refrigerator1981
33”Fast Coffee”Meggie BrownJourney Of Goodbye2020
34”Station Coffee”Jonathan Fire EaterWolf Songs For Lambs1997
35”A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop”Neil Young + The Promise Of The RealThe Monsanto Years2015
36”The Coffee Song’”Freedom’s ChildrenThe Coffee Song / Satisfaction – 7″ Single1967

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 That is how Cream should have recorded “The Coffee Song”. The South African group Fleadom’s Children took a song not included on US versions of Fresh Cream and gave it a heavier, psyched out sound. The group would change their name to Freedom’s Children after releasing the “Coffee” single, apparently for political reasons.

00:40 Speaking of politics, Neil Young practically made a name for himself writing about his political beliefs and causes. Neil has been a vocal opponent of all things unequal since his days with Buffalo Springfield. From his album with The Promise Of The Real, The Monsanto Years, Neil tackles corporations with “A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop”. Without naming them, who do you think he was talking about?

01:10 Jonathan Fire*Eater was the origination of half of the members of The Walkmen. They released two albums and an EP before calling it quits in 1998. Many claim them to be largely influential on the NYC post-punk revival sound that would spawn acts like The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and more. From their second and final album, Wolf Songs For Lamb People, that was “Station Coffee”.

01:40 Although Meggie Brown isn’t a largely known name even in her hometown of London, she still managed to land an opening spot for The Hold Steady in 2020. That is, before the pandemic ruined live music. Her debut single was produced by Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos at Edwyn Collins’ studio, which is a fantastic starting point! We heard “Fast Coffee” from the Journey Of Goodbye EP.

02:10 Well mudheads, that brings us to the end of this episode. If you’ve been sipping your coffee while listening along, you may need to head to the bathroom right about now. Maybe not, I don’t judge. Thanks for listening and I’ll see you next time!

02:15 (music plays and fades out)

Outro

37”Italian Coffee”Fabrizio FornaciThe Surfaces Vol. 22016

Check out my List for all of the releases featured!

Heard To Find: Zap – “Football Stomp”

Artist: Zap
Track:“Football Stomp”
Release: Don’t Wanna Play / Football Stomp (7″)
Year: 1975
Duration: 3:14

Side B: “Football Stomp”

Back in 1975, Walter Kahn was riding the success of his Grammy-winning production of the single “Love Me Like A Rock” by The Dixie Hummingbirds. The Dixie Hummingbirds had recorded the Paul Simon-penned track with Paul at Muscle Shoals in 1973, but wanted to record their own version. Shortly after recording the original with Paul, they did just that. The Hummingbirds’ version won them a Grammy for Best Gospel Performance in 1974, with Walter getting an award for producing it. In 1975, Walter wrote, arranged, and produced a few singles for Grand Prix Records featuring studio musicians under fake band names like QVRS and Zap. A couple of these singles were sports themed, including the disco dance novelty tune “Phillies Fever” featuring 5 players of the Philadelphia Phillies franchise, Larry Bowa, Mike Schmidt, David Cash, Greg Luzinski and Garry Maddox. Another single, “Don’t Wanna Play”, was backed with the sporty B-side “Football Stomp”. That single flopped, but had very minor success in the Philadelphia area.

Later in Kahn’s career, he hit #1 on the Billboard Top Dance Singles chart with his production of The Movement’s 1992 Jock Jams-destined hit “Jump!“.

Continuing on with the hip-hop/dance inspired work, he would end up earning another Grammy nomination in 1995 for producing rapper Skee-Lo’s single “I Wish“.

Back to the “Stomp”, though. The song is a power pop ode to the NFL and that’s about as much as you can squeeze out of it. Towards the end of the song, Zap sings aloud all of the current NFL teams at the time, many of which sound like made up teams considering all of the expansion and city-hopping the league has done over the years. The Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would arrive the following year in 1976, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens, and Houston Texans in the years to come, but this 1975 snapshot serves a nostalgic glimpse into the days of yesteryear.

Side A: “Don’t Wanna Play”

The A-side, “Don’t Wanna Play” is a standard mid-70s pop rock song and isn’t nearly as remarkable as “Football Stomp”. There’s pretty much no way to market “Football Stomp” as a single, though, so it’s understandable.

Regardless of my or your opinion of the songs, I’d like to thank Walter and the rest of the production crew for putting this out. It was well worth the listen!